Germany’s coronavirus cases have surged past 500,000 after an increase of 19,409 in the 24 hours through Friday morning.
The daily gain — to 506,381 — was less than Thursday’s record of 23,553, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But it confirms a trend of rapidly rising cases in the past few weeks that Chancellor Angela Merkel has characterized as a “dramatic situation.”
Merkel agreed with regional leaders this week to impose a partial, one-month lockdown on Europe’s biggest economy starting Monday to try to check the spread of the disease.
Authorities are no longer able to track infections back to their source and that leads to exponential growth, which must be stopped, Merkel said in a statement to parliament on Thursday. If the nation waits to act until intensive care units are full, it will be too late, she added, warning of “four long and difficult winter months” ahead.
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